Monday, April 19, 2010

Window Shopping in Norman

Jury Duty.  Got called for it.  Wasn’t sure I wanted to be in ANY courthouse building on the anniversary of April 19th, but there I was, sitting in the jury pool of the county courthouse.  Such an interesting process, too.

First up, me and everyone else in the world who was called for jury duty had to find a place to park.  Very difficult.  You’d think that a town like Norman, much accustomed to large crowds, would figure out parking in the downtown area for the first day of jury summons folks.  No.  But the lady in charge told us to just bring our parking tickets with us the next day if needed and they would get them “taken care of”.  That might have been a handy piece of information to have beforehand!

Me, I parked at the park.  And tested out my replacement point-and-shoot.   Has taken a while to grow used to it, so today was a good test.


So then I hotfooted it over to the courthouse because the parking issue had burned up so much time.


This is a classic courthouse style in central Oklahoma … many school buildings and government buildings were designed by the same architect back in the early days of statehood.  

So once inside the main potential jury holding room, names were called in groups of 30, 25 and 20 (and probably on and on) to go to various judges’ courtrooms for assignment.  I was in the batch of 20, so I don’t know what happened after I left.

My batch of 20 folks, however, were rounded up and forced to sit in the coffeeshop for over an hour while we waited for things going on inside the courtroom to be over.  The old legal secretary in me thought that surely the case was being settled at the 11th hour.  I was wrong.

Eventually, we were called inside where we were sworn in and told under what circumstances we could be excused.  I did not fit the category, so held on to the letter my boss wrote on my behalf (and his convenience) to get me out of jury duty.  Seriously, none of the categories to be excused worked.  So I kept my mouth shut.

Next, the group of 20 was narrowed down to 12, who got to go sit in the jury chairs.  I was #3.  Very exciting!  Next came the beginning of the jury instructions from a fiery female judge, whom I believed when she said it was our civic duty to serve as jurists.    She asked our employment, she asked about our family, and their employment, etc.

Next came the Prosecuting Attorney’s chance for voir dire (pronounced wahh-deer).  Not that they mentioned that you call it this, I just know from all those years of typing jury instructions in my past life at the law firm.  Anyway, he starts off by asking the 12 if anyone supports Oklahoma State University.  Like an idiot, I raised my hand.  Immediately singled out because NO ONE ELSE IN FREAKIN’ NORMAN, OKLAHOMA, is going to support Oklahoma State.  What was I thinking?  Had to explain I went to school there.  Was put on the spot about who would I support when the two teams played each other in football.  Thought I was smart and said it depends … if a national championship (They love a national championship in Norman) … of course, I root for the Sooners.  On any other game, he asked?  I said, may the better team win.  Obviously a wrong answer given the crowd. 

So ultimately, blah blah blah, drags on and on and on.  The 12 is whittled down to 6.  I am NOT one of the 6.  Secretly relieved but upset all at the same time – I was really looking forward with interest to the legal process from this side of the legal bench.  Maybe it was other reasons, but I think I was discharged because the Prosecutor doesn’t like OSU.  Go figure.

So meanwhile, it is now early afternoon, and I take a wander around downtown Norman.

I love Norman.  Lots of family ties to Norman.


Old downtown Norman has that very quaint, old-time Main Street feel.  Lots of cute coffee and sandwich shops were open …


This one had my theme motto – All You Need is Love … so, of course, I had to take a photo.


I don’t think this is “Charlie” (the Pioneer Woman’s Dog), but as I was walking down the sidewalk I heard a muffled groan.  Looked over, and this basset hound had his head hanging out the window.  Let’s take a closer look, shall we?


I may have to get me a basset hound.  This kind of low-key energy in a dog, well, I could live with it.  I wonder if the cats could?


This was a really cute coffee table that I made a pic of, so I would remember to take John back to look at this store.  Not sure about the scroll work, but it was leather embossed on the top and I liked that part.  Lots.


Back to the car now and leaving Norman, I pass the old Santa Fe depot.  This whole town is named for a person who worked the railroad, which was very important in settlement during the land run.  Imagine, free land for the taking.  I wish someone would have that idea again.


Just up from the depot is the statute of favorite son, James Garner, who is shown in his best Bret Maverick gear.  He looks like he just sauntered up Main Street and decided to stand here a spell to watch the passers-by.   We love James Garner here in Norman.


Ended up passing by the old cemetery on the way out of town, so swung the car in to pay a quick respect to some grandparents and great-grandparents.   Those tricky folks at the cemetery, however, have changed my landmark bushy bush on the corner so it took a while to find them.  Noted that certain of the relatives definitely needed some upkeeping around the markers, so filed that away for memory – Memorial Day coming up and we’ve neglected to come down this far on the Dead Relative Run in quite a while.  Must fix that this year.


Back up the old highway to Hollywood Corners, established 1925.  A landmark.

And thus endeth my day in the land of Sooners – Norman, Oklahoma – and normal working life resumes on Tuesday.



Kymical Reactions said...

you fool! I cannot believe you raised you hand and said you supported OSU in the middle of Normanland! I spit my water out with laughter at that part!

BUT - surely that wasn't the reason you were dismissed! Perhaps the trial was something bedlam related. Perhaps some Pretentious Pokey attacked a Good Samaritan Sooner, and any person who would side Orange and Black would be considered too biased to Jure such a trial. ;)

I kid, I kid. xoxoxoxo. love you bunches.

Brit Gal Sarah said...

Sounds like an interesting and fun day out. I have yet to do Jury duty in any country!

Pam said...

I said that I "sometimes" support them. He even asked if I could referee the game. I said yes. I swear, such superiority complexes those Sooner fans have .... No OSU fan ever EXPECTS their team to win, they just kinda hope they do and then have a drink to celebrate the game. I could have gotten into the fact that I chose OSU over OU based on distance from parent's house and the ability to live at home or on campus .... ack! No wait, that would really have bored everyone to tears!

But I think it was really because I said I didn't know who his wife is. But I do now.

Milk River Madman said...

Way to raise your hand in support of OSU!! Especially in Norman. "Would you root for the U of Montana in a national championship?" My answer is not just no but &%^* no! Your "that depends" answer needs some work. "That depends. Are they playing Iraq? China?" Again, if its me, I'm not rooting for u of m. But hey. Norman looks like a nice town.

TROLL Y2K said...

Wow. That is one strange reason to be excluded from jury duty! I wonder what would happen to a juror who confessed to liking UT.

Pam said...

Sarah: This was a first time for me, with one other summons from the wrong district that didn't work out.

MRM: I was under oath, I couldn't lie. I do indeed root for the Sooners when a championship is at stake. But they can lose it for themselves. And really, I don't follow much of it any more.

Troll: Texas fans not allowed in this state. Certainly not in Norman, even I wouldn't be crazy enough to admit such a thing. They might have taken me to jail.